E T H I C A L P H I L O S O P H Y
THE BEHNO STANDARD
Our mission is to redefine and bring sharp awareness to sustainability and ethics to fashion. We will set a new standard for manufacturing for the global garment trade that revolutionizes the way garment workers and artisans are treated, viewed, and employed. Our aim is to become part of a global mission that inspires change, improves factory conditions, quality of life, and safety of individuals in developing countries by working with international factories that adhere to rigid compliances. We have partnered with a large non-profit and a successful industrialist of the garmenting industry to build an ethical garment factory called MSA Ethos which focuses on knits and wovens ready-to-wear. MSA Ethos will incrementally implement The behno Standard, which is broken down into six categories:
"BEHNO" - SISTERS
"behno" means "sisters" in Hindi.
At our partner factories, individuals will refer to female colleagues by their first name followed by the suffix of "behn" (sister). In plurality, they become a community of sisters or behno.
Image by Dan Smith, 2016
GARMENT WORKER PROJECT
The Garment Worker Project, which debuted in July 2016 at Sotheby's in New York City, focuses on MSA Ethos, a garment factory in rural Gujarat, India. Created out of a collaboration between nonprofit organization Muni Seva Ashram (MSA), veterans of the garment industry, and supporters behind behno, MSA Ethos implements “The behno Standard”.
The factory was set up to be an ethical workplace implementing the “The behno Standard” which aims to revolutionize the way garment workers are viewed, employed and treated by incrementally implementing a variety of social programs.
behno’s founder, Shivam Punjya, invited fashion photographer Dan Smith and documentary filmmaker Kent Mathews to MSA Ethos to explore the less visible side of fashion. Smith captured the unique individuals of MSA Ethos through an emotional series of intimate portraits while Mathews documented their personal stories and the unique infrastructure of the factory through documentary film.
Ultimately, the project aims to demonstrate that garment workers are not a commodity and that garment production in the multibillion-dollar fashion industry does not need to be based on the exploitation of labor.
The portraits below, all shot by fashion photographer, Dan Smith, are framed and available for sale. Please inquire within by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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